Racing Around: Feagles bounces back after violent crash last season

PHOTOGRAPHER:

Jonathan Feagles (55) and Bob Rowback (85) lead the field to the green flag in Limited Sportsman qualifying Saturday night at Fonda Speedway.

Toward the end of last season, Jonathan Feagles wheel-hopped another car during warm-ups, sending his limited sportsman violently flipping on the backstretch at Fonda Speedway.

Although the car was totaled, Feagles was able to walk away from a wreck that probably would have made a lot of young drivers reconsider getting back behind the wheel of a race car.

Instead, the 20-year-old racer from St. Johnsville regrouped, found a used Bicknell that had been well maintained and spent the winter prepping for his return to the speedway.

“It was a lot of work and a lot of money over the winter, but it wasn’t too bad,” Feagles said about getting back in the car. “Not as bad as I thought it would be. I just know I have to be a lot more careful.”

After finishing eighth in the 2021 points, Feagles has driven to a pair of fourth-place finishes in the limited sportsman features this year and is sitting third in the points behind Kyle Dingman and Lance Hill, who both have feature wins.

Not bad for a driver who had not raced competitively at any level before entering the limited sportsman competition last season.

“I have been coming here for a while and it looked like a lot of fun . . . and it is,” he said.

With a young pit crew helping, Feagles said their goals are simple.

“I would like to win a race, sometime. Right now, that is the main goal,” he said. “We are going to make as much as we can out of racing, but it is mostly just for fun.”

Feagles’ No. 55 is currently carrying a plain while wrapper with only his number and name on the car. Something he said will be changing soon.

“We have one or two sponsors right now, but are looking for some more,” he said.

GEN-3

At the end of last season, A.J. Greco wanted to see what it was like to be behind the wheel of a race car.

So, his father, veteran driver Jason Greco, put him in his sportsman for a night at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park.

The racing bug bit.

Last Saturday night, the Fonda-Fultonville High School senior made his debut in the seat of his own ride, the No. 12AJ Limited Sportsman, at Fonda Speedway, making him the third generation of the Greco family – grandfather Frank and father Jason  – to compete at the “Track of Champions.”

That fact is noted by the term “GEN-3” on the cockpit cowl.

WILD TWING III

Frank Twing Jr. also made his debut at Fonda Speedway last Saturday behind the wheel of the No. 1t Limited Sportsman. Twing, the son of veteran pro stock driver Frank “Wild Twing” Twing, placed 12th in the division’s main event.

He backed up his finish with a fourth-place finish last Sunday in the rookie division at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park, where he competed in the slingshot division prior to moving to limited sportsman.

Not too shabby for an 11-year-old.

BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION

Brian Calabrese celebrated his birthday last Sunday night, taking home the victory in the 30-lap DIRTcar sportsman feature at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park.

Alan Fink placed second, followed by Cody Ochs, Garrett Poland, Zach Buff, Justin Buff, Tony Farone, Andrew Buff, Ricky Quick and Carter Gibbons.

Mike Hill picked up the victory over Jim Duncan in the limited sportsman feature, while “Cousin Luke” Horning and Andy Graves thrilled fans with their race-long battle in the pro stocks, with Horning coming away with the hard-fought victory.

Adam Tranka got the win in the street stock division, while Jay Ingersol won the DIRTcar single cam mini stock feature and Billy Hillman was first under the checkers to win the DIRTcar dual cam feature. Dan Ballard won the all-star slingshot feature, while Bodie Marks avoided a late-race mishap to grab the junior slingshot checkers in his first time in competition.

TAKING A BREAK

After being in the thick of the competition for the modified track championship at Fonda Speedway the past couple of seasons, Gloversville’s Josh Hohenforst has decided to take a step back.

“I am cutting back this year. Not retired, but taking a break,” Hohenforst said. “The price increases and lack of supplies make it tough this year, plus I don’t agree with the engine rules, but I will still run some races this year.”

Hohenforst has placed in the top five the past two seasons with the No. 6H modified and has three modified and a sportsman feature win to his credit.

PIT NOTES

Chad Edwards will be looking to repeat the early-season success he had in 2021 Saturday night at Fonda Speedway. The defending 602 Crate Sportsman champion won the opening three features last year and thanks to a final turn pass of Cody Clark Saturday night, has the first two feature wins this season.

He also won the final race of the 2021 season, making this an attempt for four feature wins in a row.

Fans will get a break this Saturday at Fonda Speedway on Fan Appreciation Night with general admission only a dollar for the full regular race program.

After starting the race programs at 6:30 p.m. in the month of April, gates will open at 4 p.m. with hot laps at 6 p.m. and racing at 7 p.m. starting Saturday.

The Ridge returns to action Sunday with its Spring Meltdown event, and free flowers will be given to all mothers in attendance for Mother’s Day, courtesy of Natural Bridge Farm. Pit gates open at 3 p.m., with hot laps scheduled for 5:30 p.m. and racing starting at 6 p.m.

Ryan Godown held off Stew Friesen for the DIRTcar victory Tuesday night at Bridgeport Speedway.

Friesen will honor 11-time Fonda Speedway track champion this weekend at Darlington Speedway by carrying Johnson’s familiar orange colors and his name on the roof of the No. 52 in the Camping World Truck Series event Friday night.

Practice and qualifying for the trucks will be broadcast on FS1 starting at 3 p.m. Friday, with the feature slated to be aired at 7:30 p.m.

Todd Bodine will be teamed up with Friesen at Darlington in the Halmar No. 62 truck.

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